AR students raise awareness of Lou Gehrig's Disease - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

AR students raise awareness of Lou Gehrig's Disease

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The second graders at Riverside West Elementary in Lake City released over fifty balloons to the sky Monday for a good cause.

Dana Meridith-Copeland, the Arkansas Ambassador for Lou Gehrig's Disease, says she works to raise awareness of this illness with the young and old. She felt a balloon release would grab some attention. "As young children, it puts it in their heads and they start to be aware of it. Maybe they grow up with it and have a passion for it, too."

Raising awareness of Lou Gehrig's Disease is a life mission for Dana, whose family has been effected by the disease. "In our family we have lost not only my father, but we've lost seven other family members. And that's what makes me so passionate about it."

Dana says the sooner people start talking about the disease, the better. "I try to raise funds and awareness. I just try to let everyone know about it because it is called the 'Orphan Disease'. Less than thirty thousand are effected at all times, but the life span is only three to five years. And sometimes it's as little as six to eighteen months."

Dana says the balloon release actually took place in areas all over the country and hopefully attracted a lot of attention. "The reaction with the kids has been great. I think they were more excited about the balloons, but they were all aware why we were doing it. One came up to me and asked me what the disease was and another came up and said this is fun and thanks."

For more information about West Elementary and any other activities taking place there, you can log onto their website.

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